Common Mistakes to Avoid when Dealing with Clogged Drains

So, you have a clogged drain in your home. With all of the products and services available today, there are a wide variety of options available to take care of these issues. Here are several common mistakes people make when dealing with a back up in their home.


  1. Buying Drain Cleaning Chemicals. With multiple brands of drain “cleaners” available, a homeowner may choose to try a chemical solution to save money. However, chemical drain cleaners typically cause more damage to piping: causing plastics to become “sticky” actually accumulating more waste over time, and speeding the deterioration of cast iron causing premature replacement of drains. Aside from the potential damage to your plumbing systems chemical drain “cleaners” are highly caustic, and when improperly mixed can cause injury or death.
  2. Renting a Drain Machine. It may be tempting to rent a machine to try and take care of an issue yourself for convenience or to try and save money. When used improperly sewer machines can cause great damage to drainage systems as well as a serious injury for the operator. The hidden cost most people don’t think about is if you damage the snake or cable the cost to replace the section of cable will likely be more than paying a professional to do the job right with a warranty and the mess.
  3. Treating the Symptoms Not the Problem. Drainage issues will occur due to two reasons, if there is an integrity issue or if too much of the wrong thing was sent down the drain, both issues can be corrected. Integrity issues will include everything from breaks and separations, to holes allowing roots to grow into the system, to the accumulation of waste and debris that has adhered to the piping leading to a decreased diameter of the line. If you continue to have a backup there is likely something in your system that needs to be repaired or replaced, calling out a professional will alleviate the problem. We encourage anyone who has backup annually to have the drain system inspected to address any integrity issues that may contribute to the problem. That way homeowners can know what is involved in correcting the problem so that regular drain cleaning is not needed.
  4. Blaming the Drain. It isn’t always faulty plumbing to blame when it comes to drain clogs. Most clogs are caused by hair and debris from the bathroom. You can get a drain catcher to prevent hair clogs in the future.
  5. Blaming your Trees or your Neighbors’ Trees for the Backup: Tree roots are a common culprit in the backup of a drain line, especially in older homes with cast iron, clay, or Orangeburg piping. One of the most common responses homeowners have is to blame the tree and question cutting it down. The issue, however, is not the tree, but the hole in the drain line that allowed water to seep out ultimately causing the roots to find the hole and enter the drain line. The average mature tree removal can cost $2500.00, with this not correcting the drainage issue homeowners typically end up having to repair or replace lines shortly after cutting the trees down. We encourage people to save the tree and treat the disease not the symptoms.
  6. Repairing Drains Yourself: Though many of us are capable there are a lot of reasons to hire a professional to repair your plumbing system. The first of which is your health, working with waste is one of the most common way communicable diseases are spread; plumbing professionals typically have immunizations to be able to work around the waste. The second is the knowledge to know how the repair should be made. Most homeowners don’t have the education to know the code approved way to run a drain line or what the difference between the different fittings are and the applications in which they can be used. Homeowner repairs often replace plumbing that was run incorrectly when built and do not address any code corrections needed to make sure the problems don’t reoccur after spending time and money to try and correct them. Hiring a professional will make sure that any existing issues are corrected so that if the system has to be changed to work properly you are aware of what is involved.

If you find yourself in a position where you need professional advice or service call TLC Plumbing. Our technicians are kind and courteous, armed with the technical abilities to take care of any of your drain related issues. Whether it’s cleaning the kitchen sink drain, camera inspecting your sewer line, or jetting a commercial kitchen; TLC is just a phone call away.

If you’re struggling with a clog or a slow drain, contact us today!